Coworker Critiques Make Me Cringe

Question: I at times have to work with a coworker who makes me feel uncomfortable in what may seem an odd way. She always calls me out on things I do that my normal shift partner does not comment on or say is actually wrong. She questions some things I do, and I have to say I didn’t feel comfortable doing whatever it was for whatever reason, and I always feel like I do something wrong.

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When Can I Assume I’m Unemployed?

Question: My boss is ignoring my emails, calls and text messages. I work a “flex” schedule, meaning I get a new schedule before my current assignment ends. I have been working 72 hours or more every week for about two and a half months, but the current assignment is set to end in less than a week and I have not received a new schedule yet, although I’ve asked for one.

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Can Bosses Yell But Employees Can’t?

Question: I raised a tone of voice to the finance manager over the phone. We had a quarterly report which I make in a system and then submit it to her. She said she doesn’t see it and I checked again if it is submitted. It was submitted and I told her that there is nothing else I can do as my part is done, and she should ask IT help to see the submission, and I am leaving. I left the office.

Later she called me yelling at me that I left, and I yelled back at her saying it is not my fault. On the next day, the General manager called me and gave me the last warning for raising a tone of voice to the Finance manager who is above my level.

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Was My Colleague’s Comment an Insult?

Question: I am a project manager at a small, extremely busy advertising firm. One of our clients has direct communication with the creative director, completely bypassing me. This coworker posted conflicting information about a very large project. I asked him about the scope and due date and he told me to “just sit tight”. To me that is something you say to an anxious 8 year old child and not to a coworker who is just trying to do their job. This person regularly makes off-color comments but this response was directed specifically to me. Thoughts?

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Should I Call My Partner’s Office?

Question: Me and my partner are not married. I am 6 months pregnant. In the first quarter of my pregnancy I found out that he was cheating on me and abandoned me during my pregnancy. Can I call his office and complain about him regarding what he did?

Answer: You must surely be going through some very difficult emotional and physical times right now. I hope you have family to support you, and I sincerely urge you to talk to your physician about other resources that can help you through your pregnancy and into a happy life with your baby. You should also seek legal assistance related to child support. Do it now, rather than waiting until the baby is born, because you will have expenses and need extra help before birth, if the baby’s father has left you on your own. If you are unsure about how to proceed, talk to the Social Services program of your county or state and see if they offer assistance.

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I Thought I Was On Mute! Now What?

Question: I was on a Skype departmental call and didn’t realize it was unmuted. I was under pressure to get a lot done before the Christmas break. I swore at a message I was reading (I said shut the eff up) and the manager speaking on the call thought it was directed to him. He asked who said that? I felt so embarrassed and so in fear that I kept silent. I planned to tell him the next day but he was telling the story to others. He told a co-worker that he wished the director was on the call. Definitely the comment was not directed at him.

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How Can I Politely Let Customers Know I Can’t Help Them?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to handle calls for assistance that aren’t really part of the work.

Question: A couple of months ago I got a new job as a system design architect. That is basically a fancy way of saying that I install smart home technology and audio systems. We put in a lot of Televisions for home theaters and there are a lot of people that believe we are like TV repairmen.

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Why Should I Step Back After Doing The Work?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to respond to being shut out on a project after doing all of the foundational work.

I’ve led the development of an application from project conception to many successful deployments in my department while also actively working as senior programmer. I’ve had the support and respect of the project leadership and sponsors from the beginning. However, over the years another team in another department attempted to develop the exact same application and failed many times. I have now been asked to collaborate with this team, and was told by my manager that the team will now take over the project going forward.

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What Is Indirect Counseling?

Question: What is the meaning of indirect counseling?

Is your question prompted by some incident in which you were told that you were being counseled this way? Our expertise is in communication-related work questions. We don’t claim psychological clinical certification; however, we have had considerable education in psychology. Based on that, the term indirect counseling dates back to the  work of Carl Rogers and others (1950’s) who advocated that those seeking personal advice are best served by not being told how to solve their problems but guided to reflect on causes and possible solutions to problems. 

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